Home Book Review Ava XOX by @carol_weston

Ava XOX by @carol_weston

by Vidya Sury February 2, 2016 2 comments
AVA XOX Book review Vidya Sury

Today, as part of the book launch tour for a charming book titled “Ava XOX” by Carol Weston, from the Ava and Pip series, which is being launched today, I am delighted to bring you the author’s guest post, a book excerpt and a Giveaway!

(Thank you NetGalley for an advance review copy of the book via Sourcebooks)

I am partial to young readers’ books and love reading them – and this one is no exception. But before I tell you about the book, I am happy to share an exclusive guest post from the author, Carol, who you’ll agree, has a wonderful way with words.

There’s a Rafflecopter Giveaway for 2 sets of the complete Ava & Pip series (Books 1-3) – please do enter to win!


Six Things People Don’t Know About Me

by Carol Weston

  • I can’t cook, I can’t garden, I don’t drive much, and I have a miserable sense of direction—but I can be charming in four languages.
  • I come from a family of word nerds! My dad wrote for newspaper, radio, and TV; my mom was the garden editor of House & Garden Magazine; my oldest brother has a new book coming out, The Runner-Up Presidency. Oh, and my husband Rob Ackerman is a playwright!Ava XOX by Carol Weston
  • I spent twelfth grade living in Brittany, France, with School Year Abroad, org. Every five years, I go to not just one but two high school reunions.
  • My oldest daughter and her husband have a gourmet just-add-water pancake mix company named Birch Benders Micro-Pancakery. You can find it in Whole Foods and Target.AVA XOX Book review Vidya Sury
  • I collect autographed books. I have books signed by Judy Blume, Anthony Doerr, Tom Wolfe, Shel Silverstein, Kate Atkinson, Elizabeth Strout, Sue Grafton, and many others. Actually, Sue and I are friends—I read A is for Alibi before it was published!
  • Okay, hardly anyone knows this: My dear old cat has diabetes and now needs two shots a day. Poor sweet Mike!Ava XOX by Carol Weston

About the Author:

Ava XOX by Carol Weston

Carol Weston has been the “Dear Carol” advice columnist at Girls’ Life since 1994. She is the author of fourteen books including the two Ava Wren titles, The Diary of Melanie Martin (Knopf), three other Melanie diaries, and Girltalk: All the Stuff Your Sister Never Told You (Harper Perennial, Fourth Edition). She lives in New York City. Find her at carolweston.com

Connect with her on social media: Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Now, the book!


By Carol Weston

February 2, 2016; Hardcover ISBN 9781492620778

Ava XOX by Carol Weston

Book Info:

Title: Ava XOX
Series: Ava and Pip
Author: Carol Weston
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publishers: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky


Love is in the air—and Ava thinks she’s allergic.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Ava couldn’t care less. That is, until a new girl, Kelli, asks out Ava’s friend Chuck…and he says yes! What?!? Ava is NOT okay with this. But since when does she think about boys? For the first time ever, words fail Ava. She isn’t sure what she’s feeling (Like? Love? Friendship? Frustration?), or what “going out” even means. After all, fifth graders aren’t allowed to go anywhere by themselves, are they?

To top it off, Pip’s friend Tanya is being bullied for her size. Ava wants to help—but, uh oh, it’s not as easy as she imagines.

Book Excerpt from Ava XOX:

Dear New Diary,

I’m pretty upset about what happened today.

My new friend Zara asked if I’d heard about Chuck.

“No, what about him?” I said.

“He and Kelli are going out,” she said.

“How do you know?” I asked because this did not seem possible, and, well, Zara has kind of a big mouth.

She said Chuck was on the bus minding his own business when Kelli hopped on and sat right next to him without asking.

She was wearing one of her sparkly headbands—she has about a million—and sneaking bites of banana bread even though you’re not supposed to eat on the bus. She offered him a piece. And he took it.

Later, in homeroom, Kelli passed Chuck a note that said, “Do you want to go out?” Zara said it had two circles, one marked YES and one marked NO. At first Chuck didn’t answer, but Kelli made a sad puppy face, so he put an X in the YES circle and passed it back.

And now they are “going out”!!

I have to say, this really bugs me.

Number one: we’re only in fifth grade.

Number two: Chuck and I have been friends since the apple-picking field trip in kindergarten, and Kelli just moved here last year, and I’ve never once noticed him notice her.

It just doesn’t seem right that they’ve said about five sentences to each other—total— and all of a sudden they’re “going out”! How long has she even liked him? Did she start today?

And how can they be going out when none of us is allowed to go anywhere anyway?

Lunch was spaghetti and meatballs, which I usually love, but my insides felt like cold, stuck-together spaghetti. It didn’t help that Zara and my best friend Maybelle were talking about Valentine’s Day, which is Saturday.

Our grade has three Emilys, but only one Ava, one Maybelle, and one Zara, and lately the six of us have been sitting together at lunch. Well, it’s usually all-girl or all-boy, but today, Kelli plunked her tray down at Chuck’s table! I was in shock! The Emilys just giggled and Emily Jenkins said, “Kelli and Chuck make a good couple.” And everyone agreed!

I swear, that made me want to throw up my meatballs. (Sorry if that’s gross.)

The problem is that I’m not supposed to care as much as I guess I do. Just last month, Zara asked if I liked Chuck, and I said no.

Why do I care anyway? Chuck is sweet and funny, but I think of him as a brother.

At least I think I think of him as a brother.

A sweet, funny brother.

Nothing more.

We’re just friends.

H-U-H. That’s a weird expression, isn’t it? “Just friends.” As though years of being friends is less important than hours of “going out.”

Ava, Annoyed

Goodreads Link

Buy Ava XOX

Barnes & Noble

Vidya Sury gratitude

The Ava and Pip series

Ava XOX Book Review

Praise for Ava and Pip

“Bold, funny, and real.” –Karen Bokram, editor of Girls’ Life Magazine

“Through Ava’s diary entries, Weston perfectly captures the complexities of sisterhood…a love letter to language.” – New York Times Book Review

“Ava Wren makes reading and writing so much fun, she deserves a T-O-P-S-P-O-T on your bookshelf. This charming dairy will inspire shy kids, young writers, and even reluctant readers. Y-A-Y for A-V-A!” –Dan Greenbury, author of the Zack Files series

“With her engaging voices, jaw-dropping word play, and tales of a good people making not-so-good decisions, she casts the perfect spell. A big W-O-W for AVA and PIP!” –Julie Sternberg, author of Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

“You’re gonna fall head over heels for the new book by our very own advice columnist Carol Weston.” –Girls’ Life

Also by Carol Weston:

AVA XOX Book review Vidya Sury

Ava and Pip

Hardcover ISBN 9781402288708
Paperback ISBN 9781492601838


Meet outgoing Ava Wren, a fun fifth grader who tries not to lose patience with her shy big sister. When Pip’s 13th birthday party turns into a disaster, Ava gets a story idea for a library contest.

But uh-oh, Ava should never have written “Sting of the Queen Bee.” Can Ava and her new friend help Pip come out of her shell? And can Ava get out of the mess she has made?

Goodreads Link

Buy Ava and Pip


AVA XOX Book review Vidya Sury

Ava and Tacocat

Hardcover ISBN 9781402288739
Paperback ISBN 9781492620808


Ava desperately wants a pet for her eleventh birthday—but gets way more than she bargained for when she adopts T-A-C-O-C-A-T.

When Ava Wren hears about an injured yellow tabby with mismatched ears, she becomes obsessed and wants to rescue him. She even picks out a perfect palindromic name: T-A-C-O-C-A-T. But when Taco joins the family, he doesn’t snuggle or purr—all he does is hide. Worse, Ava’s best friend starts hanging out with Zara, a new girl in fifth grade. Ava feels alone and writes an acclaimed story, “The Cat Who Wouldn’t Purr.” What begins as exciting news turns into a disaster. How can Ava make things right? And what about sweet, scared little Taco?

Goodreads Link 

Buy Ava and Tacocat


Rafflecopter Giveaway for 2 sets of the complete Ava & Pip series (Books 1-3)

Runs January 26th-February 29th

(US & Canada Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Shalini February 3, 2016 at 8:46 pm

Wow! I still love reading such books. Charming cover, I should say. Thanks for sharing the excerpt, Mam. Loved reading the author’s guest post.
Shalini recently posted…Down with Love..only Literally #LoveAndLaughter

Vidya Sury February 5, 2016 at 1:25 pm

These books are adorable, Shalini! Thank you for coming by!
Vidya Sury recently posted…My Morning Mantra


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